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Peters to visit Washington

Rt Hon Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs

14 July 2006

Peters to visit Washington

Foreign Minister Winston Peters will meet senior United States political leaders during a two-day visit to Washington DC on July 18 and 19.

Mr Peters is scheduled to have a formal meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, whom he met at Apec in Seoul last November.

He will also hold talks with National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, the chair of the Senate’s foreign relations committee Richard Lugar, Senator John McCain, and a range of senior Congressional representatives with an interest in the East Asia and Pacific regions.

“The United States is a long-standing and fundamentally important partner for New Zealand. It is good that we continue to embrace opportunities for dialogue and cooperation,” Mr Peters said.

“This trip provides an important opportunity to discuss with US counterparts the many areas of foreign and security policy where we have common interests, and which can provide a platform for an even closer relationship.

“New Zealand’s involvement in the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste, and the work of our Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan are good examples of where our international contribution coincides with American interests.

“Earlier this year I met with Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, who welcomed our active engagement in the Pacific. He said he looked forward to New Zealand and the US focussing on areas of common interest,” Mr Peters said.

ENDS

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